2005 Perth World Cup, Race Report

Monday, 28 November 2005 12:57 | Written by  Dawid Mocke
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herman_leads_perth_1_151x100.jpgThe Surfski World Cup in Perth was held on the 19th and 20th of November.  This event is in its second year after being held for the first time last year. This year it was the 2nd leg of the fledgling Surfski World Series, the 1st leg being the King of the Harbour in Auckland New Zealand, and the 3rd and final leg being held in Tahiti on the 26th and 27th of November.

This year we had a really strong team from South Africa which consisted of me, the Bartho brothers (Daryl and Brett) Clint “Laaitie” Pretorious, Barry Lewin, the Chalupskys (Oscar and Herman) and Neil “Beatle” Bailey.  The guys were fired up to give the Aussies carrots after last year’s debacle where we lost the team category by 1 point.

This year we opted to all stay in the same place, the Sorrento Beach Resort, which was the official accommodation provider for the event.  Maybe a little bit on the expensive side, but comfortable and ideally situated right near the finish of both days racing.  It’s also great having all the guys staying together as it is nice to get a bit of team spirit going.

Most of the guys were using Fenns or Icons which were provided by race organizer Dean Gardiner, however myself and the Chalupskys had our skis sent over.  Oscar and Herman sent theirs on a container a couple of months before, but I had to have mine sent by air a week earlier.  Once again I had admin with it as I could only pick it up on Friday afternoon and it was quite badly damaged and needed some repair work.  I did what I could with limited time and resources, but it didn’t help much at the end of the day.  But at least, this time, I had my ski, not like my trip to the States.

Race 1 – Fremantle to Sorrento – 24kms, South to North, Wind = SW, 19knots
The first race, on Saturday the 19th, is an awesome race from South to North along the coast.  The course basically goes past all of Perth’s main beaches and there are 2 portages along the way.  Because the predominant wind in the summer in Perth is a South-Westerly, it’s a downwind run the entire way.  It is tricky though as you have to do the zigzag thing to stay on course.  Virtually the whole way, competitors will never more than 100metres from the shore.

Right from the start the South Africans totally dominated.  All 7 of us were still in the lead at the halfway mark.  Herman led from start to finish with Oscar about 70-100 metres behind him.  The chase group consisted of Clint Pretorious, Barry Lewin and Daryl Bartho.  Myself and Brett started to take strain about 4kms in to the race.  Brett only got his ski on that morning and it was way to long for him.  As for me, well, I’d taken a lot of water during my warm up and tried to sort out my issues right up until the start of the race, but it was to no avail.  I got slower and slower as my ski got fuller and fuller, and by the time I got to the halfway mark I was hardly floating; game over.  Meanwhile, up in the front, Herman had managed to open up an insurmountable lead and took first place.  Oscar however had relinquished his second spot to an absolute storming Barry Lewin who had the race of his life.  Right behind Barry was Clint Pretorious in 3rd spot.herman_perth_1.jpg

Herman winning day 1, image from www.epickayaks.com 

Race 2 – Rottnest Island to Hillary’s Harbour, Sorrento, 30kms, Wind = SW, 25knots
The second race, on the Sunday, is an absolute beauty of a paddle.  You start at Rottnest Island which is about 20kms straight offshore from the coast.  The route is in a back to front “L” shape as you have to get on the inside of a shipping lane buoy and then a line of reef markers before taking a left and heading straight towards Hillary’s Harbour.  Hillary’s is a small boat harbour with a sort of Waterfront type development attached.  The runs on this paddle are awesome and it really is an epic race.

After the start the race quickly developed in to a typical downwind offshore paddle with everyone spreading out and taking their own line.  Within minutes you’re on your own and can hardly see anybody.  I built up a good lead up until the reef markers where I was caught by the Chalupsky brothers.  From here we went toe to toe, but it was Oscar who came in 1st 15 seconds ahead of me in 2nd and Herman in 3rd.  It wasn’t until after the race that I heard that I had missed going around the shipping buoy which was compulsory.  I was summarily disqualified.  This was entirely my fault as I had missed the race briefing because I was trying to sort out my ski.  My disqualification put Herman into 2nd and Clint Pretorious into 3rd.

After the 2 days of racing, South Africans filled the first five places overall, an absolute domination of the event.  Herman came 1st overall, Oscar 2nd, Clint Pretorious 3rd, Barry Lewin 4th, and Daryl Bartho 5th.  Now if you consider that I was out of it and that we still have the likes of Hank McGregor, Matthew Bouman and Simon van Gysen back home (not too mention others like Paul Marais & Julian Callebaut to name a few), then I think it is safe to say that when it comes to surfski paddling, South Africa is on top.

Right, so that was Perth 2005.  The last and final big event for the Mocke’s this year will be the Cape Point Challenge on the 17th of December.  We’ll let you know how it goes.

For some more info on what went down and also to have a squiz at some pics go to www.menshealthoceanracing.com.au.

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